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Nintendo 3DS: Futuristic Handheld, Retro Battery

Included Applications and Software

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The 3DS includes a healthy amount of non-gaming software. The Mii Maker is very similar to the one found on the Nintendo Wii, so you can create a Mii in your own image, or go crazy make an awesome Admiral Ackbar avatar. The biggest addition here is the ability to create Mii’s from photos taken with the front-facing 3DS camera. Beyond that it’s pretty self-explanatory: Make a Mii and have it represent in you in certain 3DS games.  Your Mii profile is a little more fleshed out this time, and has more connections to the outside world than its Wii counterpart. When it comes to StreetPass, Nintendo’s take on NFC, you can allow your Mii to be copied to other 3DS devices you happen to come across. You can also make custom QR codes for your Mii to make sharing with friends that much easier.

Your Mii is also what people will see when they add you to their friend’s list. Your friend card displays a Mii of your choice, your friend code, a 16-character message (something like “Hello World!”), your favorite game, and online status (you can keep this private if you prefer). Nintendo is still using Friend Codes instead of say, and email address or username, but this time around you have ONE code, tied to your 3DS console, instead of a new code for every game you play.

The 3DS also includes a camera and an audio recorder. The camera app lets you take 2D photos of yourself with the front-facing camera, or 2D/3D photos using the dual sensors on the back. After taking a photo, you can use the Graffiti tool to make it a little more festive. The audio recording app lets record small sound bites (ten seconds each), which you can edit to go slower or faster, change the pitch, or add effects like a parakeet. This is a silly, but fun, add on that exists simply to make use of the microphone. Other software, like the Settings menu, Download Play, and the Activity Log, is standard Nintendo fare.

One quick note: Some software, like the 3DS Web Browser and the eShop, hasn’t been activated yet. Nintendo has told us both will be made available via firmware updates at some point in the future.

  • Ok
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  • tapher
    I am Yoshi's Great Partner!
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  • MULTITAKSING!
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  • septembrium
    Anyone know what the specs are on the QR Code reader features of the Nintendo 3DS? It's pretty hard to find information about it. Can't wait to get my hand on it by the way!
    Reply
  • dconnors
    septembriumAnyone know what the specs are on the QR Code reader features of the Nintendo 3DS? It's pretty hard to find information about it. Can't wait to get my hand on it by the way!
    Are you looking for something specific? To read QR codes you use the camera on the back of the 3DS, but beyond that Nintendo has been pretty tight-lipped on things.

    -Devin
    Reply
  • shqtth
    Not an untested technology. Most of the samsung LCD displsys had this 3d technology at the Vancouver 2010 (winder olympics).

    I seen it when I visited the Ontario Pavilion. It was quite cool. And it works !
    Reply
  • Nexus52085
    Nice review. Thanks, Toms. I really don't think I'll be able to get one on day one, even though I'd really like to. That being said, I played this thing at the demo station in Grand Central, and it is a whole lot of fun.
    Reply
  • arlandi
    Speaking as a father of 2 girls:
    The short battery life issue may be a good thing for children playing this gadget. since sometimes they can be glued to their games for a very long time. short battery life will force them to take a break and do other things (like study, do their homework, etc).
    Speaking as a gamer:
    i hope this thing will autosave whenever battery power is drained...
    Reply
  • dconnors
    arlandiSpeaking as a father of 2 girls:The short battery life issue may be a good thing for children playing this gadget. since sometimes they can be glued to their games for a very long time. short battery life will force them to take a break and do other things (like study, do their homework, etc).Speaking as a gamer:i hope this thing will autosave whenever battery power is drained...
    Auto-saving is usually a game-side feature. There are two battery indicator lights that flash red once the battery is close to drained, so you should get plenty of warning so you can plug the 3DS in.

    -Devin
    Reply
  • I was really impress with this write up. My oldest was starting to get all starry-eyed about this. But I think that we can wait for the next generation and see if the battery life improves. Here in Southern Cali... 2.5 hours is a typical car ride (stoopid traffic)... and the DS lite can easily get us there and back.

    Thanks for the article!
    Reply